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Ex-NSA Menon Reveals China’s Ploy To Divide India And Bhutan

The political goal of China was to create a distance between India and Bhutan on the issues of Doklam standoff. This was stated by Shivshankar Menon, the departed National Security Advisor while he praised the government for taking care of the issue in a splendid manner.

Ex-NSA Menon Reveals China’s Ploy To Divide India And Bhutan

Menon was in the said post from 2010 to 2014 during the former UPA rule. He even added that the integrated approach was needed to manage the border of the country.

He addressed the people of the conference and said the reason behind the activity of Doklam was not due to the defined military option or superiority. This was done to target the political goal, which was to split the Indian from the Bhutanese.

New Delhi has been offering constant military support to Bhutan and has a very positive relationship with them.

The motto of China was to create a perception on the mind of Bhutanese that India is incapable of offering a proper protection to them. However, Menon expressed his happiness due to the way India reacted to the entire situation.

He was also in the position of Foreign Secretary of India between October 2006 and August 2009.

The military of China and India were locked for a period of 73 days standoff in Doklam. This was done from June 16 last year after the construction of the road was stopped on behalf of India in the highly disputed tri-junction by the army of China. Even China and Bhutan have a disagreement over Doklam and the face-off got over on August 28.

India is the closest neighbor of Bhutan and it enjoys a closer companionship and military support offered by India.

Menon dug deeper into the attributes of the border management and stated that the armed forces must put their endeavors to grab the confidence of the people of Northeastern states on the said issues.

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Temperatures Dip In Europe Owing To Icy Blasts In Siberia

The wintery blast from the east is likely to bring freezing temperatures and chilling winds across Europe over the coming week.

The sudden outbreak of cold has already resulted to a number of deaths and postponing daily routines and important events like the football match and also causing traffic disorder.

Temperatures Dip In Europe Owing To Icy Blasts In Siberia

France recorded a temperature drop to −10 degrees C which may drop down to −18 degrees C in the next few days. The people on streets are at higher risks of health hazards.

France has arranged for emergency accommodations for the homeless where nearly 200 migrants took shelter on Saturday to escape the bad weather.

The Met Office in Britain that said the northern parts of England will experience 10 CMS of snow for the coming 3 days and the temperature could feel as low as −15 degrees C.

Travel disruptions in places might be experienced.

Russia is also not spared from the abnormally cold weather. The Temperatures in Moscow will be expected to drop below −25 degrees C; some parts will experience −35 degrees C.

In Poland, 2 people expired due to the freezing weather, bringing the total count to 46 since the month of November as per the national security center.

Frosty temperatures are estimated all through Germany as well, with a minus 22 degree C in some parts of the federal state of Bavaria.

Due to intense snowing in the parts of northern Italy, Turin, Series A TIM football match between Atalanta and Juventus has been postponed.

Schools will remain close for the next few days until the snowy roads of Rome gets better and the temperature lifts from −6 degrees C.

In Austria, the temperature is subjected to fall below −20 degrees C and Hungary is experiencing heavy snowfall; some schools in Croatia are also kept closed due to freezing climate.

The weather agencies in Spain also warned of a large amount of snowfall on Balearic Islands and Iberian Peninsula.

 

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Kamal Hassan’s Political Party Gets A New Name

Tamil superstar Kamal Hassan announced his political party’s name at an elaborate function in Madurai that is considered as the state’s political capital yesterday and invited the chief of Aam Aadmi Party Arvind Kejriwal as the chief guest. He announced at the meeting that his party’s name is Makkal Needhi Malam that when translated to English means “People’s justice center”. He was standing at a giant stage during the flag unfurling function that showcased the party’s symbol that showcases its Dravidian ideology but retains the welfare of people at its center. Speaking about the party’s ideology, Mr. Kamal Has an stated that it could neither be bracketed as right or left but would draw good qualities from both and be at the center.

Kamal Hassan’s Political Party Gets A New Name

He said that is the reason why even his party has “center” in its name. Mr. Arvind Kejriwal who had flown in from Delhi that evening, stayed by the actor’s side and made an appeal to people at the meeting to vote for the party. Other politicians that made their presence felt at the meeting were Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan who delivered a message to the people via video. Mr. Hassan was cheered loudly by the people when he made a statement that “it is a people’s party and I am a follower that will listen to your suggestions”.

Looking at the large gathering of supporters at his first public meeting Kamal Hassan stated that, “this is an example of what the party can achieve when together”. He said that the meeting was just a sample of several such gatherings that his party plans to hold in other parts of the state as a part of his campaign. He has already shown by action the politicians and ideologies he is likely to associate with by meeting DMK chief Karunanidhi, DMDK’s Vijaykant and also megastar Rajanikanth who is also starting his own political party.

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Organizing The Employees Into A Labor Union Essential To Tackle Grievances In It Industry

Santosh Lad, Labor Minister of Karnataka, has claimed unionization is not needed in the IT sector and further stated that workers can log in grievances of supposed unfair sale practices between the government and they would deal with it. IT workers unions, situated outside Karnataka, have been attempting to organize IT employees in the state, owing to the reports about huge amount of layoffs. Lad said to the media that his section has got grievances from the unions, but they did not go through any particular problem.

Organizing The Employees Into A Labor Union Essential To Tackle Grievances In It Industry

“It has come into highlight that there are grievances being registered with the labor section by these supposed IT unions. However, these grievances are all generalized and talk about the layoffs all over the nation. For the state government to respond, we need particular evidence and information,” he claimed.

When it was highlighted that workers may be indisposed to bring particular allegations due to the lack of unionization, Lad claimed that the state can manage the illegal cutbacks. “While the BT and IT industry has been provided with an exception from the labor department’s standing orders, it does not mean we can’t take action against IT firms that use unreasonable sale practices to lay off workers,” he stated.

He claimed that if workers are in a dilemma of bringing grievances personally, a group can come together. A government administrator claimed that the union legislatures, at the time of meetings with the government, were discovered to be not aware of current corporate rules and the nature of issues that IT workers were facing in Karnataka.

When discussed, Priyank Kharge, the IT Minister, claimed that his section is attempting to bridge the gap between the employees and the IT firms on the problem of layoffs. “We are taking in other stakeholders along with Nasscom,” he stated.

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Pappu Aka Mehul Choksi Is the Owner Of 22 Companies

Mehul Choksi—one of the chief accused in the Rs. 11,300 crore bank scam reported by Punjab National Bank, alongside his nephew Nirav Modi—was known with the nickname “Pappu” among the diamond merchants. It was a moniker he had from his childhood years in Palanpur, Gujarat. He had started his business as a diamond dealer in Mumbai and soon went on to possess 22 firms and became a customary guest at most Bollywood parties which is unheard of in the business as most diamond merchants prefer to stay under the radar.

Pappu Aka Mehul Choksi Is the Owner Of 22 Companies

Insiders say that Mehul had a practice of organizing large parties to invite powerful people and give them expensive gifts in expectation of specific favors. According to Hardik Hundiya, editor of diamond industry publication Heera Manik Patrika, Mehul Choksi’s modus operandi would be to sign retainership agreements with family members and acquaintances of people that were in positions of power and could help him when required.

As the examinations concerning the case expand investigation offices are concentrating their focus around directors of the diamond merchant’s firms. The FIR filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation has named 10 senior executives of his organizations accusing them of financial fraud amounting to Rs. 4,800 crore. The investigators were surprised to see that most of these “so called directors” of the brand live in Mumbai’s slums and ghettos which show that these men are just proxies for Mehul Choksi’s operations. The families of these men are as shocked as them about the high profile media attention and Dinesh Bhatia’s described as one of the directors say that he had no clue about the papers he had been asked to sign a few months ago when he joined the organization. Jyoti Bharat Vora another “director of Nakshatra” lives in a cramped home in Amboli.

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FICCI Says Compliance and GSTN Hitches Mar the GST Success

A survey conducted by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) to evaluate success of GST implementation gave varied feedback. More than 50% of the respondents that included MSMEs and corporate organizations stated a positive effect on business logistics as transportation of goods between states was greatly facilitated due to reduction in processing time at check posts.

FICCI Says Compliance and GSTN Hitches Mar the GST Success

However, FICCI stated that the GST success was marred by certain hitches, the main being with regard to the efficiency of the GST portal. Lack of immediate reflection of latest data and uploading of large and varied files, greater times for giving effect to set-offs of input credit and inability for providing for modification or revision of errors were some of them. There were some other issues too. Businesses found the monthly filing of returns by taxpayers with total turnover exceeding Rs 1.5 crore a cumbersome activity. Filing of multiple registrations by service providers was a headache. The distance limit of 10 km for keeping details of goods movement posted on the portal was too less. Claiming of refunds by exporters was a tedious chore. Goods meant for captive consumptions were levied GST.

Suggestions to tackle the above were offered by respondents. A majority of respondents suggested the GST return filing periodicity to be changed to quarterly. Centralized registration was suggested for service providers to tackle provision of services between states. A hike in distance limit to 50 km as a minimum requirement for updating details on the movement of goods along with elimination of updating needs for goods moving within limits of the city. Small businesses deemed the e-way bill as an extra compliance necessity. GST on transfer of goods meant for captive consumption to be scrapped. In order to facilitate exporters in getting their refunds the pre-requisite of tallying the date of the shipping bill with that of the tax invoice should be removed.

Additionally, many respondents wanted greater clarity on the provisions of anti-profiteering so as to avoid unjustified harassment occurring on that issue.

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Syrian Residents In Ghouta Await Death As Bombings Continue

Local residents of Ghouta district located in the eastern section of Syria are literally “awaiting death” as they are facing one of the strongest bombardments of its cities by government forces to flush out rebel groups holed up in Damascus and surrounding regions. Since the bombing began during the weekend around 310 people have died in the Damascus area of which 38 were killed on Wednesday while more than 1550 were injured as per reports of Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The thickly populated region of eastern Ghouta which is an agricultural area located in the outskirts of Damascus is home to 400,000 people.

Syrian Residents In Ghouta Await Death As Bombings Continue

This region is one of the last holds of the rebel forces and has been facing constant attacks by government forces for several years now. The government has escalated its attacks in an attempt to end the war after eight long years and is bombarding the region with rockets and shells and also dropping barrel bombs by helicopters. These are one of the deadliest attacks in the long Syrian war between rebels and government forces. One of Syria’s residents, Bilal Salah who is staying in Douma one of the largest towns in eastern Ghouta stated that they are almost awaiting death.

Most people in the region stay in shelters with five-six families huddling into one home. Photographs of the ground situation by Reuters showed men picking through the debris to pick up inured people to hospitals while some cowered into the building shadows. A warning system for airstrikes that is managed by Syrian Civil Defense sends public alerts to people to take cover when warplanes take off from airbases. UN Secretary General has requested both the warring sections to immediately suspend hostilities in Eastern Ghouta as residents were “living in a hell on earth”. It also denounced the escalation of hostilities as it has affected hospitals and other civilian structures.

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Gitanjali Gems Stock Shed 35% Value Within 2 Days

Shares of jewelry firm Gitanjali Gems that is owned by the uncle of Nirav Modi, declined by 20% by dropping down to Rs. 37.55 on Mumbai Stock Exchange or BSE, showing a steady decline of 35% in the days since the announcement of fraud by PNB. The firm’s shares fell drastically after it came under scrutiny of investigation agencies for the multi-crore fraud. The shares of Punjab National Bank also fell by several points after the fraud carried out by its officials was announced and on Friday fell by 2.5% again.

Gitanjali Gems Stock Shed 35% Value Within 2 Days

BSE has also sought clarification from Gitanjali Gems based on reports by PTI stating that large jewelers like Gitanjali and Ginni along with Nakshatra were under scanner of investigative agencies for their association with Nirav Modi’s family. The PNB bank has stated that one of its Mumbai braches was instrumental in giving out LoUs to Nirav Modi’s firms without due diligence. Mumbai Stock Exchange has also asked for details of the raids conducted by Enforcement Directorate officials on the premises of Gitanjali Gems and its owners based on a recent news article. The raids have unearthed gems and jewelry that may cover only a small part of the amount.

Though the Punjab National Bank’s officials and representatives tried to sooth the frayed nerves of their investors with statements that they will fulfill all financial commitments, no such statements were made by Nirav Modi’s firms and showrooms across India. PNB’s senior officers stated that their staffs were providing all help to regulators to detect the extent of the swindle and find out how it could have stayed undetected for so many years. The bank stated that two junior staff members of its Mumbai branch were responsible for issuing fraudulent “Letters of Credit” without proper guarantee that were used by the company’s representatives to take out huge sums of money at foreign locations.

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Cruz, The School Shooter Of Florida Was Naïve, Quirky

The family that had adopted Nikolas Cruz, the Florida shooter responsible for killing several of his classmates last week in a school shooting, said in an interview on Sunday to Sun-Sentinel that they had not experienced any tendency of violent behavior from him though they considered him a little naïve and quirky. The 19-year-old student was taken in by the Snead family of Parkland Florida just last year in November after Nikolas’s mother who was his sole supporter, died of pneumonia related complications at a suburban hospital.  He was a school friend of their son.

Cruz, The School Shooter Of Florida Was Naïve, Quirky

According to James Snead who is also an army veteran, when they took in Cruz he was warned that the regulations would be very strict and he was decent enough to follow all of them very sincerely.

His wife Kimberly Snead who is a nurse expressed horror at not being able to see the monstrous side of the teenager whom they welcomed home as the bereaved school friend of their son. The boy has emerged as a troubled youngster who had been expelled from his previous school for disciplinary issued. The Sneads describe Cruz as a naïve individual who was not used to performing any household chores like laundry, housecleaning, cooking or even keeping his room clean.

The FBI team investigating the case admitted that they had received a warning about Cruz’s potential to carry out a school shooting similar to other cases committed in United States during last year; they did not act on the warning. Their timely action could have saved the 17 innocent people that were gunned down by Cruz last week by an AR-15 rifle that he had purchased causing the nation’s worst massacre carried out at a school. According to the Sneads, Cruz seemed lonely and in need of a girlfriend to confide in as he was depressed about his mother’s death.

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Special Puja At Visa Temple May Aid In Bringing Back Bank Defaulters

Priests at the popular Chilkur Balaji Temple located close to Hyderabad confidently claim that their prayers will bring back billionaire Nirav Modi accused of escaping overseas after defrauding PNB bank of Rs. 11,300 crores. The man who was last seen at a hotel in New York will be forced to come back by their “special puja” if the government is not able to bring him claim the priests. These head priests here also believe that their puja or combination of prayers and ceremonies will solve the banking crisis plaguing the nation and will help to bring back the money stolen by defaulters that have been hidden away in overseas account.

Special Puja At Visa Temple May Aid In Bringing Back Bank Defaulters

The Chiklur Balaji Temple is popular among locals in the region that are seeking visa to United States and other locations so is referred to as “Visa Temple” by people that visit the deity with hopes of getting their wish fulfilled. The idea of “special pooja” was mooted by the temple’s head priest Dr. MV Soundarajan who is confident that it will bring back money from all defaulters irrespective of their reach and status. The puja conducted on Feb 19th will be attended by several thousand devotees.

Pujaris or priests of the temple will chant the name of lion god “Runa Vimochana Nrusimha Stotram” which is a powerful stotra to relive people of insolvency and debt. Priest CS Gopalakrishna who is also a head priest at the temple stated that the current financial crisis being faced by banks has caused threat to livelihoods of several people and prayers offered to Lord Laxmi Nrusimha whose consort is the goddess of wealth will help to tide over existing debts. He stated that during the special puja the “Runa Vimochana Nrusimha Stotram comprising of nine verses will be chanted by a large group 11 times.